The DART Board: 02.07.2024

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday February 7, 2024

Thursday, February 8, 6-8 pm: Vernita Nemec | Evil Plastic Blues

Sculptor, performance artist, and curator, Vernita Nemec finds fascination in the weathered beauty of broken and discarded objects, drawing inspiration from the Japanese philosophy Wabi-Sabi, which embraces the value of imperfection and material transience. Evil Plastic Blues features her latest series Eco-Plasticism, which includes vacuum-formed bas relief collages and small sculptures created from deformed plastic packaging. 

By repurposing overlooked and discarded plastic, transforming it into artwork Nemec brings attention to the vast quantities of refuse contributing to our current environmental emergency. Urging action to address this escalating plastic crisis with her work, she states “These plastic forms, fragmented and irregular, coalesced into compositions that spoke to the chaotic interplay between our lives and the pervasiveness of plastic detritus. Plastic in trash not only fills our landfills but is filling the oceans, the air, the soil and even our bodies as it is incorporated into more and more substances that we live with, including the fabric of our clothing and much more.

Carter Burden Gallery, 548 West 28th Street, New York, NY Info



Thursday, February 8, noon: Curatorial tour, Unnamed Figures

Join Sadé Ayorinde, co-curator and Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, for a walkthrough of Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North. 

As a corrective to histories that define slavery and anti-Black racism as a largely Southern issue, this exhibition offers a new window onto Black representation in a region that is often overlooked in narratives of early African American history. Through 125 remarkable works including paintings, needlework, and photographs, this exhibition invites visitors to focus on figures who appear in—or are omitted from—early American images and will challenge conventional narratives that have minimized early Black histories in the North, revealing the complexities and contradictions of the region’s history between the late 1600s and early 1800s.

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY Info



Friday, February 9, 6:30-8:30pm: Nora Krug and Jason Lutes in conversation

Before written language existed, people drew pictures, everywhere. Representational drawings evolved into pictograms, and some pictograms were abstracted into phonetic symbols which could be strung together to form words. The medium of comics takes these now apparently disparate elements—the picture and the word—and reunites them to create a form of expression greater than the sum of its parts. 

Cartoonist Jason Lutes and illustrator Nora Krug will discuss how Jason conceived, researched, wrote, and drew a 550-page graphic novel about the city of Berlin between 1929 to 1933. Along the way they will discuss the greatest influences on his storytelling, from Ursula le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea to Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, and what happens when we listen closely to history.

This event is being presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide festival Fall of the Weimar Republic: Dancing on the Precipice and co-presented with the German Consulate General New York.

Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, New York, NY Info



Saturday, February 10, 4-6pm: Lou Beach | Bewilderdness

There’s no press release, because none is needed to announce the art of long-time DART subscriber Lou Beach: “Funny, smart, twisted, brilliant…the greatest collage artist on the planet…” Terry Gilliam, film director | “I love your art. You are legendary. Much influence — inspiration — on so many.” Raymond Pettibone, artist | “I love the art of Lou Beach because it cheers me up. Lou Beach’s art is smart, witty, original, and surprising.” Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons

So if you’re in the Santa Monica vicinity this weekend, be bewildered in person. Save the date: March 2, 11am, artists talk. Editor’s note: image above is cropped without the artist’s permission; I wanted to present it as large as possible.

Craig Krull Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Ste B3, Santa Monica, CA Info



Sunday, February 11, 10:30am-6:00pm: Free admission to the Whitney Museum 

The Whitney Museum is offering free admission all day on Sunday, February 11 and special programming in English and Spanish for visitors of all ages. The February installment of this monthly program will offer all-ages artmaking activities led by artist Dyani White Hawk, exhibition tours, and in-gallery discussions, including a closer look at Harold Cohen: AARON and Natalie Ball: bilwi naats Ga’niipci, among other programs. Above: Harold Cohen, Stephanie and Friend, 1991

This program and another new initiative, Free Friday Nights, both aim to reduce barriers to access, removing admission fees and offering programs that are entry points for anyone interested in visiting. While admission is free for these programs, tickets are still required and can be reserved at Advanced tickets are strongly encouraged.

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY Info